HD Beat is reporting on a “reliable” rumor that, as I predicted, DirecTV will switch out at no cost to the customer the soon to be obsolete $1000 door stops previously known as the TIVO HR10-250 in exchange for a new one or two year satellite service commitment.
HD Beat and the quoted article actually say that the DirecTV representative did not give any details about the timing of the switch out or whether a new contract would be required. Logic tells me, however, that a contract will be required as a way to boost customer retention and allocate the cost of the new boxes. I wouldn’t mind having to sign a 1 or 2 year contract if I could be assured of good service, a good box (like, for example, the TIVO box that DirecTV is dumping), and lots of new HDTV channels (not just satellite streams of the local channels that I already get over the air). I don’t see how I can get those assurances so the prospect of a long term satellite contract isn’t very appealing to me.
Big Loser: TIVO (great box; but dying on the vine thanks to DirecTV)
Jury’s Out: DirecTV (if the box is good and free, minimal damage)
Big Winner: Cable TV (angry DirecTV subscribers may go back to cable)